Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals at

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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
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Old May 6th, 2014, 02:12 AM   #1
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Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals

Hi All - I've been approached with a view to filming a dance recital - I'd be keen to read any of your views if you've used the EA50 to film one and would like to pass on some tips. It would be my first so the whole approach would be different from my usual weddings. I'd also be using my 2 Sony CX730 cams plus my VG20 and maybe GoPro.


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Old May 6th, 2014, 03:35 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals


I use the ea50 for all kinds of shots. Concerts, Shows, Workshops etc...
Sometimes the EA50 gets mixed with my Canon XA10.

an example:
firedancer - Ein Funke springt Řber

All shots are EA50 except the ones from the floor angle (the XA10)
This one was shot in a theatre with only few light...

In these light conditions i would not use the was a mess mostly - so i focused manually
but i had to zoom in fully a lot, because i was standing over 30meters away from stage.
So it was all a little tricky...
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Old May 6th, 2014, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals

Although you could use any camera for stage performances not all are equally suitable, I have owned a ea50 and have cx730's and do shoot a few dance recitals every year, I can only give my personal experience shooting with the stocklens but I found my cx730's better for dance recitals when shooting solo.

Some advantages these small cams have over the ea50, the zoom is controllable in speed, you do need a gentle touch to operate the zoom but once you have the feel for it the zoom operation is much better then the ea50 powerzoom on the stocklens, you can zoom in manual with that stocklens which also works well but I have found that operating the zoom on the cx730 was just much easier to do and you could focus more on content.

The cx730 does ramp quickly once you zoom in but it's more lightsensitive then the ea50 stockzoom trhoughout it's focal range, the stocklens on the ea50 also ramps quickly, furthermore the cx730 gives a cleaner image at high iso's. The zoomrange on the cx730 is sufficient, as long as you are not to far from the stage.

Both cx730 and ea50 (stock) lenses are not parfocal so both won't keep focus if you zoom in and lock focus and then zoom in and out, the autofocus on the cx730 is much better then on the ea50 so even with dimmed light it will keep focus BUT once it does loose track it's totally gone and can take a few seconds to recover, during that time you need to zoom out, reframe so it has something else to focus on or just manually adjust the focus. I leave it in auto 70% of the time and the other 30% toggle between auto and manual, especially at the ending of a dance performance, they kill all the light then and when it'sswitched on again you need to be in manual so the focus is right. I use the lcd screen a lot for that with spot focus enabled. Also teh cx730 will give a you a deeper dof in sharpness, the ea50 will give you a shallower dof but it will only cause issues with focussing, danceperformances don't need a shallow dof.

You need to turn ois off on tripod, that is very important, if you don't the image will wobble like crazy if you are zoomed in a lot.

I only use 2 cx730's for dance recitals, one safety that covers the entire stage and with a locked focus, I do controll the exposure manually on this one, setting exposure to auto is a risc depending how harsh teh contrastst are, like if you have a black background and they use a spotlight all detail will be gone because it will overexpose, I start setting my exposure manually on my safety cam when the performance starts and then start operating my other camera which I use to follow the action up close, then afterwards just cut between the 2 cams, important to know is that they always want to see the choreography so I never zoom in to tight, always assure you have all dancers in frame.

Personally I wouldn't use too many camera's when you shoot alone, 2 is the max you can control, any more is just hoping they might work out.

Sound I capture with my tascam dr40 connected to the soundbard with xlr or this year I"m testing my dr60 which should be able to send a signal directly into the camera, still need to test that tough.

So, just my opinion that the cx730 are better suitable for this type of work.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 01:03 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals

24P or 25P (lets more light in low light)
24 minimum shutter speed (this is where you control the intensity of light)
12 Max Gain (beyond have won in the image)
MANUAL focus
F 2.8 (the amount of light control with the shutter speed does not move)
Having multiple cameras allows you to use the optical zoom with manual shooting and editing the appropriate movements of manual zoom
if you occupy one's perspective of EA50 is too dark can have noise problems in low light.
Here are some examples.

# t = 64

2 EA50
2 Metabons
1 sigma 50-150 2.8
1 Tamron 24-75 2.8 [/ url]

2 EA50
2 Metabons
1 Sigma 50-150mm 2.8
1 Tamron 24-75mm 2.8
1 Sigma 24-70mm 2.5
1 canon 50mm 1.8

Last edited by Guzla Equihua; May 7th, 2014 at 01:26 PM. Reason: mas informaciˇn
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Old May 8th, 2014, 03:35 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals

Thanks guys - I've now got the date but I'm already booked for a wedding :( good info for the next time though!

Guzla that looks smooth - especially for 25p?

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Old May 8th, 2014, 05:46 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals

There's been a bit of a dispute on the UK Guild of television cameramen about dance recitals and problems - it's a closed forum to member of the Guild, but the problem comes from theatre taking up LED lighting at a rapid rate. It's difficult for me because all my work is based around music and performing arts/music, and I'm also a professional lighting designer. The problem is one word - BLUE!

Up until LEDs really started squirting out decent output, a deep blue - Congo, one of the very popular colours - was very wasteful of light. Less than 10%, often 5% made it through, the rest being lost as heat. This meant a truly blue look was very expensive and difficult to achieve on a big stage. Now, at the press of a button, I can have an amazingly blue wash, or lots of 'puddles' and it looks really good. The video people, however, hate it. The blue is just a huge spike in the frequency response and some cameras, Sony's mainly, seem to have real problems. It messes up exposure and make the picture soft. Very often I may have spent a couple of days getting the cues for the show into the desk, and then the video guy, who arrives shortly before the audience taps me on the shoulder and asks for less blue. I've turned quite awkward now, and I always ask the producer/director/hirer what is important - how it looks to the audience or how it looks on the video. If they say audience, then I won't compromise my design at the last minute by adding in different colours - because my credits come from the people there, who book me again because they like it.

I light for the video happily if told early enough, and most critically, given a monitor. I even have a decent spare monitor I will use, but many video people "don't have time" to run me out a cable from their camera - onew recently even saying that he wouldn't do it because how did he know I wouldn't record it when he wasn't looking!

My warning is that if a venue invests in LED lighting, then you are going to get lots of monchromatic colour - especially red and blue. You might get green if they do Wicked, but that's about it due to the destructive effect of green on dark skin tone.

If you get a theatre booking, I'd strongly suggest getting in touch if you have cameras that hate these colours, well before the date, and willing to be available when they are plotting lights. Logistically, the video people may not be able to come to rehearsals, but expect considerable resistance if at the last minute you don't like the lighting, because LED can be very, very good for dance - to the eye, not, to the camera. My JVCs seem to not be too bad with the blue - just a little soft on wide angle, but some Sony's seem difficult. It will get worse as more LEDs appear. At the moment, I've got 8 LED RGBW washlights, and some LED battens - and for the first time ever, can get an even wash on the entire stage that is bright, even when strongly coloured. One of these washlights is now more powerful than a 1000W PAR can to the eye when using deep colours - so I use them an awful lot!
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Old May 8th, 2014, 08:45 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals

My mate Chip in Green Bay did a live band shoot a month or so ago and the result was a disaster simply because the band used blue LED lighting! He named it the "Smurf Movie"

These lights cause absolute havoc with footage and it's worrying if theatres start to use them as footage will suffer quite drastically compared to standard theatre lighting ... plenty of energy saving of course but no a happy result for the poor video guy.

I wonder if some bright company will bring out an "anti-congo" filter you can hitch onto the front of the lens?

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Old May 9th, 2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals

If very difficult for us to dedicate ourselves to the video documentation of dance for 20 years , was a shock when I worked with led for the first time . I recommend using indoor WB, and then correct color, especially when 2 cameras are used ( it is highly recommended that the cameras are the same deal , same model )

This is a work that led working alone and go through different ranges of color
( recorded with 2 Sony AE50 optical sigma 24 -70mm F2.8 and 50mm F1.8 canon

This work with convinaciˇn lighting based on LED light
( recorded with 2 Sony FX1 )

The difference between these two models relating to WB is the Sony model FX1 in colder indoor mode .

( Please if the editorial office of this message does not understand , let me know , because my English is not good and I use the google translator )

Greetings to all and thanks for existing and I follow this group from a year ago but dared me to this written , only the dance and the video is my life
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Old May 9th, 2014, 01:28 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone using the EA50 for dance recitals

Very few LDs or theatres are sold on the use LED instead of tungsten rush, indeed there's even a movement to keep tungsten, because for many things it's better - the light quality being the issue. LED, however, is excellent for wash lighting and RGB and RGBA colour mixing means it's really taking hold. The blue issue isn't an issue for theatre and audiences, just some video cameras. Already a few people are now saying the problem is surely the camera manufacturer's - not the lighting people. Time will tell!
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